When I read the text of The Zohar, it’s not good if the text conceals the purpose of reading from me. I must constantly check: What exactly do I desire by reading it?
First and foremost, I desire for the reading of The Book of Zohar to reveal my illness: egoism, and then to heal it by helping me acquire the quality of bestowal instead of it. I want to acquire unity with others who aspire to the same goal. This is called the intention before the study.
After preparing the intention or the reason why I read The Book of Zohar, I can then start to read it. If I am consistently able to maintain the intention, then I can allow myself to also listen to the text and its meaning.
This is similar to a sick person who is in a critical state: He reads a medical book only in order to find the remedy. Nothing else interests him! He doesn’t care about the style of the text or the details of the story. He only looks for the remedy (the elixir of life: the Light)!
Therefore, first and foremost we must have the right intention, and after that we can listen to the details about what The Zohar narrates. There is nothing more important than receiving the “medical procedure” because we don’t understand any of the actual story until we enter that state ourselves.
Why then did the authors of The Zohar write all of these stories for us? It was in order for us to make efforts to keep the intention. Only after that, to the extent it is possible, can we allow ourselves to listen to the story while desiring to reveal it through the intention. We have to realize that we are not living these states and don’t understand the text, but we do desire to reveal it and aspire to be inside the state that is being described. Then we can understand the text and connect to it.
My primary desire is to attain the spiritual quality through the right attitude to The Book of Zohar. After that I can pay attention to the text and be sure that I will understand it correctly. This is called “desiring to attain what you study,” as written in Item 155 of “Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot.”
The text of The Zohar is the place where I perform my inner work and make the inner discernments regarding where I am. First I must have an intention in relation to the goal, and then a sensation in relation to the text.
We have to feel the depths of the layers of attainment. This is called “Engaging in the Torah and the Commandments,” and “Studying the Torah.”
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/12/10, The Zohar